Date of Award

5-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Legacy Department

Professional Communication

Advisor

Katz, Steven B.

Committee Member

Williams , Sean D.

Committee Member

Taylor , Summer S.

Abstract

In today's academic engineering environments, securing funding has become a volatile process, requiring the hard work of and collaboration between many different people. Technical editors are one of these important forces in the proposal writing process, as they help engineer writers to develop their proposals and persuade reviewers of the value of their research. However, to date, there have been very few studies on how editors convince engineer writers to accept their proposed revisions. To fill this gap in the literature, this thesis offers an in-depth style analysis of six proposals in order to determine what technical editors do when they edit engineering proposals and how they create working relationships with engineers. In particular, I will concentrate on how two editors in Clemson University's College of Engineering and Science argue for changes and create stylistic relationships--and the interrelationship between argument and style--by querying writers through the Comment function in Microsoft Word. The two analyses that I will complete are based on the theories of Stephen Toulmin et al. on argumentation and Walker Gibson on style. Toulmin et al.'s theory will enable me to analyze how the editors argue for revisionary changes in each of the technical proposals, whereas Gibson's theory will enable me to determine how editors create relationships with authors through the language they use in the comment box. The findings revealed from this thesis provide practical knowledge to technical editing students and to working technical editors.

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